17 November, 2016

More from Peter

I’ve definitely grown as a person on the Programme. I’m stronger in dealing with difficult situations and managing my time. I’ve had countless opportunities to lead a team, so my leadership style’s developed, too. Most of all, I’m happier because I really enjoy what I do.

I was at the golf driving range when I heard that I’d been given a place on the Programme – and naturally, I was delighted! 

I’d also applied for a place at Uni, but I think being on the Programme’s given me so much more. I’m at least two and a half years ahead of graduates who enter Marks and Spencer straight after Uni; I’ve been earning and learning with no university debt; and I’ve enjoyed working in a varied and extremely fast paced business where I’ve been able to achieve and stretch myself. 

I’ve also started a degree in business management with the Open University alongside my School Leaver’s Programme. And, comparing the two, although I enjoy my degree, the Programme’s allowed me to take charge of my own learning and develop some key work skills. It’s also a lot easier to apply the on-the-job learning I receive on the Programme to real life and develop the qualities you need.

I think there are three main qualities that will help you succeed at M&S. Firstly, you need lots of energy, so you can give great service to customers and inspire your team. Secondly, integrity – you have to be prepared to work hard, be honest and embrace the M&S values. Finally, just be yourself – the great thing about teams at M&S is that they’re made up of people with different strengths. You have to bring your own dimension to a team.

Having said that, I’ve been told my best qualities are that I give friendly, clear direction to my team and I have a strong, 360-degree global view. This certainly helps at M&S, because no two days are the same. For example, today I started by reviewing how a recent move in our suit department looked with another commercial manager. Then I talked through plans for an upcoming sale with my section manager, followed by a management huddle and a review of weekly sales. Next, we had our team brief where we celebrated members who’d given fantastic service this week. 
Being on a fast-track scheme I’ve learnt SO much! Especially in leadership and managerial skills, because I’ve been given some really significant responsibilities early on in my career. 

It was pretty daunting when I started work on my first day. But as soon as I was in store, all the staff were really welcoming and I quickly started to feel at home. I think my proudest moment so far came after a successful commercial walk around of our food hall with the Central London Regional Manager, Laura Mitchell. I was telling her about some of the fantastic things we’d done there and she said I came across extremely well.

There are fantastic opportunities for personal growth and career development and in five years’ time I’d like to be a manager of a really large department in one of our biggest stores. I feel part of an exciting business where my future’s limitless and I can go into one of many areas, which is incredibly exciting. It’s been an awesome head start in my chosen career.

Can you see yourself joining Peter on our Level 4 Apprenticeship Scheme for School Leavers? Click here.

Inside M&S
17 November, 2016

Getting to know... Peter

Everyone that works at M&S is an individual. That’s why we hired them. We spotted something in them that made us say yes to them. Behind every person in every role is a personality. This is Peter's.

1.    Tell us about your biggest ambition.

The reason I chose the M&S School Leaver Programme was because of the opportunity to gain a senior role in business. That’s what I’m committed to – a varied and influential role that allows me to make my mark on a strong, ever-expanding business.

2.    Who was your favourite teacher at school and how did they inspire you? 
My favourite teacher was Rav Phagura. She taught me all about the Second World War from Britain’s perspective, but she also taught me a lot about management. It wasn’t just about getting across the information we needed to know. She got to know us personally and inspired us to work together as a team.

3.    What do you see as your major strength? Pick one trait and explain 
Someone once described Andy Murray as a ‘maximiser’ and I think that applies to me, too. It means you’re always looking to make the most of all your abilities. Andy Murray certainly does that in tennis. As well as putting a lot into the school leavers’ scheme, I do a full time degree, play bass in a band and play sport whenever I can. So I think that maximising my application and effort is a strong point.

4.    As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but the one thing I wanted to be as I was growing up was a professional footballer. Needless to say, I don’t think that’s going to happen now – although I wouldn’t say no if Man United came knocking on my door tonight! I’m just determined to make the most of every opportunity on the School Leaver Programme, so the ambitions I have now come true.

5.    What is your proudest moment – in work and outside of work?
In work, I think it’s leading my team to refresh the lingerie department in our store. It took lots of planning, working with colleagues and shifting some big kit. But in the end, I led my team in ‘revolutionising’ the department, as the menswear manager put it. The store manager was really pleased, too, so it was a positive result all round.
Outside of work my proudest moment was when I received my Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold award in the presence of the Duke himself at Buckingham Palace! It’s a pretty tough award to get, so it was really satisfying to collect it and meet royalty at the same time.

6.    What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Who gave it and how have you put it to good use.
It was when my mum said something like: ‘Hey Peter, why don’t you apply for this?’ Two years on, here I am!

7.    Tell us something unexpected about you. 
I’m a youth leader for a large group of 10 to 14 year-olds at my local church.

8.    What are the most important things to you in life – aside from family and friends?
Work satisfaction and enjoyment, and having a clear path that enables me to make the most of my potential.

9.    What would you be doing now if you hadn’t made it onto the School Leaver Programme?
When I applied for the Programme, I also gained a place at Birmingham University to study politics and philosophy, so I may well be studying there. But the opportunity at M&S clearly eclipsed my Uni place and I’m very pleased I’m here.

10.    Which M&S value – Innovative, Inspiration, In Touch, Integrity – do you most identify with and why? 
Inspiration is definitely the quality that I’ve learnt most on the School Leaver Programme. You don’t just learn technical knowledge. You get to develop your leadership style by inspiring others to achieve. It’s a quality that I’ve really enjoyed working on.

11.    What motto do you live your life by?
Every moment is a competition.

12.    You’re cast adrift on a desert island: choose one song to inspire you in your solitude; one personal possession to console you in it; and one M&S product that you simply couldn’t do without. 
The song would have to be ‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift. And I definitely couldn’t be without my bass guitar. As for the product – an HFOTM Ultimate Burger with bacon and cheese.

Inside M&S
17 November, 2016

More from Software Engineer, Colin

Colin received two undergraduate degrees from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada; a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours specialising in Finance and a Bachelor of Computer Science. He’s currently working as a Graduate Assistant Software Engineer and will soon be taking on the role of Associate Software Engineer.

“I’ve always enjoyed M&S products.  There have been M&S stores in every country I have lived in – five at the last count. So, when I learned about graduate schemes as a concept (they aren’t really a thing in Canada), I started looking at British companies that I know and M&S was one of the first to come to mind. When I found out I’d got the role, I was extremely excited. Though it was a little surreal for me as I was still living in Canada.  

“After spending a few days in store, I had my first day in my actual role.  I was a little bit nervous going in to work but that quickly disappeared when I met my team.  I was lucky enough to join a team with several very experience software engineers who loved answering questions.  There was also a former grad on the team who acted as my “buddy” helping me get set up and understand the project.

“My first day in the office I got to deploy code that I had written to production.  This means that something I changed on my first day was put on to the website that M&S customers interact with and I was the one putting it there.  I was given tasks to do that I had no idea how to approach but the support was there to help me through it when I got stuck.

“Another real baptism by fire was when I first went on out-of-hours support.  One of the teams I worked with provides its own 24-hour support in case something goes wrong.  About seven months into working at M&S, I went into my first week of support.  My training consisted of learning how to read and analyse logs and seven months of working on the codebase.  In that first week I got to respond to someone trying to attack the website (DDOS most likely) and one of the servers that hosts part of the website going down.  It was certainly a memorable week.

“As an engineer, my main responsibility is to devise solutions to problems the business faces and build software systems to implement them.  I spent 11 months working with the mobile web team building and improving the mobile website, focusing on accessibility and speed.  Now I’m working on platform engineering, designing and building a system that other developers will be able to use to deploy and maintain their apps.

“I’ve worked with lots of different languages at M&S (Ruby, JavaScript, Bash, HTML, CSS, and Go to name a few). The focus is definitely on understanding the problem and finding the best solution.  The code is just a tool for implementing the solution.

“Honestly I still feel out of my depth most of the time. However, I’ve realised that pretty much everyone in the industry feels like that. I’ve learned to not worry about failing or not knowing something. The best way to learn is by jumping into the deep end and trying to figure out how it works. I’ve learned a lot: new languages; technologies; and different ways of working.

“I really enjoy working at M&S and will continue to work here until I stop learning something new every day.  I have never been good at five-year plans.  Five years ago I didn’t know that I would be in the UK now but if you had told me I wouldn’t have been surprised.  I think I will always go where I can learn the most and currently that place is M&S.”

If you're keen to explore our graduate digital roles, find out more and apply here.

Inside M&S
17 November, 2016

Getting to know... Colin

Everyone that works at M&S is an individual. That’s why we hired them. We spotted something in them that made us say yes to them. Behind every person in every role is a personality. Meet Colin.

1.    What is your biggest ambition?

I’ve never really given this much thought.  Generally, I’d like to continue learning new things and visiting (and living in) new places.  This is important to me because I love learning and the best experiences of my life have been defined by the great people I have met around the world.

2.    Who inspires you and why?

My father inspires me.  He approaches every situation with a positive attitude and always strives to do the right things.  He taught me how to step back and approach problems from different perspectives.

3.    What did you want to be when you grew up? 

As a child, I wanted to do something that I enjoyed but I was never sure what that would be.  Software engineering combines constant learning, problem solving and technology, which are three things that I love.  I think this makes it pretty close to my dream job. I also spent a number of years working as a lifeguard (both at a pool and on the beach).  I wouldn’t mind taking this up again sometime in the future.

4.    What do you see as your major strength?  

Problem solving. I love analysing problems, figuring out how the system is supposed to work, then solving the issue.  This is obviously useful as a software engineer but it’s also useful in many situations.  I used to be responsible for maintenance at a swimming pool.  With minimal training, I often had to figure out which pipe or valve was causing the problem and how to resolve it as quickly as possible.

5.    What is your proudest moment – in work and outside of work?

In work: looking back at code that made no sense to me in my first week and being able to understand and make meaningful changes to it now.  It really shows how much I have learned in such a short time.

Outside of work: graduating with my computer science degree.

6.    What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

‘Don’t be afraid to fail’.  Multiple people have told me variations of this since I started working as an engineer.  At school, I never wanted to answer questions unless I was sure that I was correct.  Now I am trying to implement ideas that probably won’t work but if they do they would be amazing.  The only consequence to failure is learning what to do better next time.

7.    Tell us something unexpected about you. 

I’ve moved around a lot and hold dual citizenship (Canadian and British).  London is the eighth city I’ve lived in and the UK is the fifth country.  I went to an American-accredited international school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and attended university in Vancouver, Canada.  Aside from making the question “where are you from?” impossible to answer, my international background helps me adapt quickly to new situations.  The world really is a small place.

8.    What makes you tick?

Learning, computers (building them, writing software, and video games), travel, and aquatics (swimming and lifeguarding).  Not necessarily in that order.

9.    Which M&S value do you most identify with and why? 

Innovation with Integrity as a close second.  Innovation is naturally a part of my profession.  I enjoy finding new ways to accomplish tasks to achieve better end results.

10.    What motto do you live your life by?

Everything is possible and nothing is easy

Inside M&S
15 November, 2016

More from Molly

Molly’s career at M&S began as a seasonal worker in a Simply Food café. She loved the way we do things so much, she decided to apply for our School Leaver Programme. She’s currently a trainee Commercial Manager at our Canterbury store.

The School Leaver Programme just felt right for me. My experience of working at M&S put into perspective how much I didn’t want still to spend another three years in education. It was the idea of working together to deliver a superb customer experience that really appealed to me. This made me realise how much I valued working with customers. I’m currently 12 months into the programme; I’ve covered every area of the store and, I don’t for a minute regret my choice.

To begin with, I have time on my side; it’s like having a three year head start on my uni peers. I think some people continue with their education because they feel it’s the right thing to do. In a way, my education has continued at M&S. I’ve learnt more in the last year then I ever did a school; the amount of responsibility I have is an education in itself.

Thinking back, my first day is a bit of blur. But I do remember being very warmly welcomed and feeling at home. There is an amazing depth of knowledge at all levels of the store and everyone has been more than happy to share this. I’ve grown up a lot since joining. Learning on the job has enabled me to mature very quickly and, because I’m putting what I learn into practice, I’ve grown in confidence. I’m a lot more driven too, as I’m doing what I’m passionate about. 

One thing I would say is that you have to be ready to drive your own development. Don’t get too comfortable; you have to keep pushing. It’s not like school where you have teachers to supervise you. There’s a lot of knowledge here, but no-one is going to spoon feed you; it’s about helping yourself. It’s down to you to ask for advice; be sure to take it all in. Keep an open mind too. I was dreading doing the Finance and Operations module of the programme. I thought it would be weakest area. However, because I learnt so much from it, I actually enjoyed it immensely. 

I think being level-headed has helped me enormously. I take each challenge as it comes and always focus on the positives. It’s also good to look up once in a while; to see beyond the immediate facts and understand where these fit into the bigger picture. This gives you a whole new perspective on things. It’s also important to have a genuine passion for what you do and respect for those around you. These will take you a long way. 

The best part of my job is being able to motivate people and help them get the most out of their jobs. I feel proud to work at M&S; we’re a great team. I’ve yet to meet anyone I don’t get along with – probably as we all have similar qualities. There are so many amazing people here. That’s what makes M&S the brand leader it is.

In five years I hope to be a commercial manager in a large store, working towards the goal of becoming a store manager. I don’t see my future with any company other than M&S.

Can you see yourself joining Molly on our Level 4 Apprenticeship Scheme for School Leavers? Click here.

Inside M&S
15 November, 2016

Getting to know... Molly

Everyone that works at M&S is an individual. That’s why we hired them. We spotted something in them that made us say yes to them. Behind every person in every role is a personality. This is Molly’s.

1.    Tell us about your biggest ambition.
To work my way up in M&S. When I think about my future, this is what drives me. I’ve always had a desire to be successful and I don’t think I will ever be content until I have reached that goal. For me there is no other company that I want to work for.

2.    Who was your favourite teacher and how did they inspire you? 
My sixth form history teacher. I’d never studied the subject before; I wasn’t particularly analytical either. When I tried to write something down when I was studying for an exam, I’d just freeze. She turned this around for me. I went from failing the subject to top of the class. She knew that I could do it and wanted to help. So she was prepared to invest the time to coach me and build up my confidence. This is the style of leadership I aim for. 

3.    As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I never knew what I wanted to be; I was average at most things, but never brilliant. However, I’ve always got a buzz from working with people and motivating them. My dream job would be to be in charge of a company so that I can motivate people to motivate others. My dream would be to have a team that is more like a family; where we all working towards the same goal.

4.    What do you see as your major strength? 
Begin positive. I enjoy working under pressure and get a real buzz from it. I always try to look at the positives in a situation and then work through the negatives in a positive way. 

5.    What is your proudest moment?
Getting on this scheme; it felt right for me. I knew I wanted to carry on working for M&S and being able to do so through this opportunity still fills me with pride. 

6.    What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
Believe in yourself and be yourself. These are such common phrases; but I stick by them. There have been times when I thought I’d never be able to do something. I wish I had just believed that I could do it. If others try and make you fit a mould, just trust that you as an individual are good enough. 

7.    Tell us something unexpected about you. 
I’m clumsy. I can fall over anything and most days, do. People say I’m like Mr Bean as I’m always doing silly things.

8.    What makes you tick?
Ambition. Having the opportunity motivates me to succeed in it. I love my job as it brings out my passion for working with people and, together, we make things happen together. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

9.    What would you be doing now if you hadn’t made it onto the programme? 
I’d probably be going into my second year studying business management. However being on the School Leaver Programme has enabled me to experience what I would have been studying in practice. I’m more than happy with my choice.

10.    Which M&S value – Innovative, Inspiration, In Touch, Integrity – do you most identify with and why? 
Inspiration. As managers, it’s our responsibility to inspire our teams and to ensure that they enjoy coming to work.

11.    What motto do you live your life by?
‘Don’t stress the could haves; if it should have, it would have’. I believe that everything happens for a reason. If something doesn’t work out, it’s for a reason.  This doesn’t mean you can sit around and wait for things to happen. The opportunities I have are there for a reason, so I try and make the most of them.

12.    You’re cast adrift on a desert island: choose one song to inspire you in your solitude; one personal possession to console you in it; and one M&S product you simply couldn’t do without. 

  • Song: Believe by Cher   
  • Possession: Nespresso coffee machine 
  • Food: M&S profiteroles
Inside M&S
14 November, 2016

Black History Month, from a personal perspective

Black History Month (BHM) recognises, rewards and celebrates the contribution that members of the African and Caribbean communities have made to British society over the years. With a range of activities and events that increases year on year, BHM is also an opportunity for everyone to find out more about the history and heritage of the communities.

M&S celebrated BHM with an Inspiring Speaker Event, which welcomed Patrick Vernon. Patrick was Independent Chair of Westminster Partnership for Racial Equality, which played a key role in forging stronger links between the Metropolitan Police and the Muslim community in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings. His invigorating and thought-provoking speech sparked some lively conversations among the audience.

That audience included Fiona, our Islington Store Manager who climbed the ranks at M&S after joining us as a Christmas temp back in 1994. Fiona was delighted that M&S gave the green light to the idea to celebrate BHM.

“I believe BHM is important because every race is connected to the history of this nation and by celebrating BHM everyone can be included in a tradition of acknowledgement, inclusion and community engagement” she says. “It gives us an opportunity to learn about the many contributions and accomplishments we have made, but also helps to correct any misunderstandings or misrepresentations of our cultures.”

Fiona believes that BHM opens up dialogue and personal interactions between many different cultures. In turn, these lead to a better understanding and appreciation of all our daily experiences.

“BHM is an ideal time for us all to come together and celebrate what can be if we, as a society, are open and willing to embrace the past, just as we embrace the future,” she adds.

Our support for BHM dovetails with a number of other initiatives we have taken to make M&S a more diverse and inclusive place in which to work and shop. We set up a ‘Race at M&S’ network group, which provides members of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community with the opportunity to share their thoughts on inclusivity at M&S in a ‘safe’ environment. We’re also proud to take part in the Pride parade in London and our involvement was the impetus for a new network, LGBT+ @M&S.

Most recently, we launched our #daretobeyourself’ campaign. The underlying message of the campaign is that individuality is at the heart of M&S; whoever you are, whatever your background, whatever your family situation, you can get on at M&S.  Fiona holds down a responsible job while being a mum. “Don’t let being a parent stop you achieving your goals. I certainly didn’t!” she says with spirit.

And what of the future? “I’d like to see M&S continue to support BHM in different ways, with different events,” Fiona says. “We should always promote open, honest and positive dialogue with all employee groups about BAME topics. And we should build an even deeper understanding of BAME employee experiences so that we can become even more inclusive.”

Inside M&S
8 November, 2016

Meet Graduate Software Engineer, Tara

Meet Tara – after studying Multimedia Computing at uni, she wanted a role that involved both the design and build of technological products. She found it at M&S.

“It was right time, right place for me. The digital team at M&S was pretty new but growing rapidly and I could see the opportunities ahead. I also liked the thought of working for a household name and a fantastic brand that I could be genuinely proud to be part of. I joined the Graduate Scheme through the ‘IT’s not just for boys’ event, and it was great that M&S wrapped up its hiring process and made me an offer months before I graduated so I could concentrate on my finals. 

“Within M&S Digital, I work in shopping on marksandspencer.com as part of the Product Display team. We’re currently looking at creating reusable templates for product display pages that are responsive and modular. At uni, we looked at best coding practices rather than specific programming languages and I’m now using those practices to develop new features and get them released. It’s very much front-end work using Angular JS and Mustache but there are opportunities to work with APIs, test frameworks and back-end languages.

”My first year has been full on. Early on, I spent time pair programming with members of my team to get up to speed with the languages. We’ve trialled reverse mentoring through which a ‘newbie’ mentors an experienced member of the business and I had to give a presentation on what’s going on in digital development. All Engineering graduates attended ‘Beyond Conference’, which was a great chance to meet other new developers. And there was also a design week to come up with innovative ideas for the basket and checkout area of M&S.com. We worked in teams to come up with the ideas and then build prototypes in a hackathon day. After presenting the prototypes internally, we tested them on our customers to get their feedback. A really fun experience!

“I love the freedom that M&S has given me to try new things and the feedback we get is pretty instant. And how many companies give their engineers time in the week to learn new skills and get involved in projects beyond their day jobs? There’s a good team spirit, too. On a standard day, we’ll all get together at 10am and update each other on what we’re doing.”

If you're keen to explore our graduate digital roles, find out more and apply here.

Inside M&S
8 November, 2016

Getting to know Tara

Everyone that works at M&S is an individual. That’s why we hired them. We spotted something in them that made us say yes to them. Behind every person in every role is a personality. Meet Tara.

1.    Tell us about your biggest ambition.
I’d love to travel around the world. Not necessarily all in one trip, but I want to experience new and different places. It’s something I haven’t had the opportunity to do yet (so far my list is Spain and Morocco – not a bad start). But getting out there and exploring the world is my big dream!

2.    Who inspires you?
Nelson Mandela went through a lifetime of struggle but he still kept fighting for what he believed in. His determination to make a change was on another level. He is the definition of inspirational.

3.    As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
No lie, I wanted to be a shopkeeper when I was a kid. I was fascinated by tills, watching shopkeepers scanning items, pressing buttons and printing receipts. So technically, I achieved my childhood ambition when I worked in retail during sixth form! 

What do you see as your major strength? 
I think it would be my determination. When I decide I want to do something, I will get it done, regardless.

4.    What is your proudest moment?
That would have to be when I won the award for the highest-scoring 1st class degree at university. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you how stressful final year is, but I had faith in God and not only did I get through the year, I also came out on top.

5.    What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
On our M&S induction day we were told: “The only person in charge of your personal development is you”. That was really useful advice, which I took on board when I wanted to make changes to the software engineering graduate scheme. I had specific ideas about how I wanted my development to progress and I knew it was up to me to make the changes I wanted.

6.    People aside, what’s the great love of your life?
I love to cook African, Caribbean and British food at home. My ethnic origin is a mixture of African and Caribbean, which has been a big influence on my cooking! But I also experiment with lots of other cuisines. I love food. Food is bae.

7.    What are the most important things to you in life – aside from family and friends?
Respect and equality are really important to me.

8.    Why M&S?
I joined the graduate scheme through the IT’s Not Just For Boys event and loved the idea of working for a household name. I knew the digital team at M&S was pretty new and growing rapidly and thought it would be a great opportunity to join at an exciting time.

9.    And what does it feel like to work here now? 
M&S is one of the few companies I think you can feel utterly proud to work at. We work with integrity and it comes through in our brand. We’re always looking to do the right thing for our customers and community. This is shown easily with initiatives like Plan A.

10.    Which M&S value – Innovative, Inspiration, In Touch, Integrity – do you most identify with and why? 
I think In Touch. As part of the Product Display team on marksandspencer.com I want to make great experiences that people will love. That means finding out what people want and need. I make an effort to find out more about the customers we build things for. Potential customers too. It can really influence the work you do for the better.

11.    What motto do you live your life by?
Run towards what scares you. Eventually it won’t scare you anymore.

Inside M&S
3 November, 2016

Shine with M&S at Christmas: 20% discount; the gift that keeps giving.

“For me, working for M&S is a dream come true,” says Sarah. “My late mum Margaret worked as a Christmas employee and praised it for its friendliness, exceptional quality and variety of clothing. Lots of friends used to joke about it being our store - M&S: Margaret and Sarah.”
Having worked at for another retailer as a Saturday girl, Sarah already had some customer service experience. And she proved she had what it takes on her very first day. 

“A couple came in to buy everything they needed to go to a wedding abroad,” she remembers. “I suggested different clothes and advised on colours and accessories, including make-up. By the end, they were fully kitted out. They were really happy and spoke to one of the managers. A few minutes later the manager came over and said the customers had been singing my praises!”

That wasn’t the only memorable customer service Sarah provided that Christmas. “I had to deal with a very angry customer whose Christmas food order was incomplete.  She was going to complain to head office, but I turned it around and she left much calmer. She even apologised and wished me a happy Christmas.”

She says this is at the heart of what she does at M&S: “My role is to provide an excellent customer experience. For example, one day I saw a customer in a wheelchair having difficulty reaching some clothing she was looking to buy for her husband. I helped her and she was so grateful.” Now that’s job satisfaction.

The extra money and the 20% staff discount came in handy at Christmas. “It helped to pay for a few little extras,” she says. “And better quality gifts for my family and friends. 

It also gave her the chance to show off her skills at the most challenging time of year. “I hoped they’d feel that I was up to their high standard and would invite me back.”

So when M&S offered her a permanent role, how did she feel? “I was ecstatic. I just felt privileged, proud and honoured that I’d met their high expectations.”

Inside M&S


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